Iceland: Renewable Energy & Sustainability

Video and Photos

Hydropower plant
Hydropower plant
Thorsmork
Thorsmork
Seljalandsfoss
Seljalandsfoss
Reykjavik University
Reykjavik University
woman in a Hardhat with a pad of paper taking notes
woman in a Hardhat with a pad of paper taking notes
student walking through a glacier
student walking through a glacier
group photo of students in Iceland standing on snow
group photo of students in Iceland standing on snow
Iceland Landscape with large mountain covered in snow
Iceland Landscape with large mountain covered in snow

About

As the greenest country on our planet, Iceland produces 100% of its electricity from renewable energy sources. Complemented with exclusive access into the nation’s leading renewable energy facilities, Iceland is the premiere location for a truly hands-on educational experience and professional launch pad into the fields of renewable energy & sustainability. In addition to the country’s sustainability foundation, Iceland is a top destination for awe-inspiring adventure travel and eco-tourism. Home to jaw-dropping natural landscapes & pristine topography as well as authentic Nordic culture & welcoming atmosphere, Iceland is the destination for experiential sustainability education, bucket list adventuring, and unique cultural immersion.

Highlights
  • Tour Iceland's largest geothermal power plant
  • Meet with like-minded individuals who are making a difference in sustainability
  • Discover local biofuel innovations
  • See climate impacts in effect first-hand on a glacier walk
  • Explore Iceland's nature, off the beaten path!

Related Programs

Questions & Answers

I did not need any kind of visa beforehand, I do believe I had to fill out a form before I landed though.

Reviews

98%
based on 24 reviews
  • Academics 8.3
  • Support 9.6
  • Fun 9.9
  • Housing 9.8
  • Safety 9.8
Showing 1 - 15 of 24
Default avatar
Owen
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Iceland: Renewable Energy & Sustainability

First I would like to say that this trip was an incredible experience and the Green Program is a great way to travel and learn how to make our world a better and greener place. I went Iceland this summer with the green program and I wish I could go back. My favorite moments were we hike on a glacier, swam in a hot river, and went in hydro and geothermal energy energy plants. The trip taught me so much about renewable energy and sustainability and inspired continue on in that field. The trip also allowed me to become great friends with a lot people my age that had the same interests and really want to make a difference. It was a wonderful experience to be able to work with them. If you have the chance to go on a green program trip should should take it!

What is your advice to future travelers on this program?
It goes by quick try as many new things as you can and walk around outside as much as you can it is a beautiful place all around.
Default avatar
Alice
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

The best abroad experience you could have!

The ten days that I spent in Iceland were completely incredible! I gained a wealth of knowledge surrounding renewable energy and how we can use renewable energy across the world to create a more sustainable environment. I met the most incredible people who challenged me to think globally. The program coordinators challenged us to have meaningful conversations which really helped to broaden my understanding and knowledge of the way that sustainable energy works. I also loved working on the syndicate programs. They are a group project where you create a sustainable alternative to an existing problem in our world. It was so much fun and I loved feeling that as an individual we can make a difference. I absolutely loved the way that this program integrated learning about sustainable energy resources and having fun stuff to do like hiking and swimming. I cannot recommend this program highly enough, and honestly I am desperate to go back!

What was the most unfamiliar thing you ate?
I ate fermented shark, which tasted horrible!! As well as eating sheep cheek which was a very strange mix of jelly and meat (also do not recommend trying).
Default avatar
Jake
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Best Study Abroad Program Ever!

My school offers many different study abroad programs. The problem is that the time they require me to take off was too much. When I was introduced to the GREEN program I was impressed with how much they did in such a small amount of time. It fit perfectly with my summer schedule so I could still take summer classes afterwards. Some may be nervous if the program rushes through everything because of how much is done in a small amount of time. I assure you this is not the case. The program wanted us to come home with a more profound understanding of renewable energy. The connections that are formed through this program is worth the price alone. If I were to start working on my own project the people I met on this trip would be my go to's for building a solid team. I could not have been more lucky to have come across this program.

What was the most unfamiliar thing you ate?
Fermented shark (a.k.a Hákarl). Would not recommend.
Default avatar
Daniel
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

The GREEN Program Iceland: The best ten days of my life

My time on The Green Program was hands down the best ten days of my life. The program was expertly crafted with a perfect mix of academic, cultural, and adventurous experiences that maximized the potential of each and every day.

Waking up in an Icelandic farmhouse inn to have a homemade Icelandic breakfast, going to Reykjavik University for classes on sustainable energy, a tour of the largest geothermal plant in Iceland, lunch at a geothermal powered pizza brewery followed by a hike up to a hot spring creek, and finishing with working on the Capstone project back at the farmhouse.

The Capstone project is the heart of The Green Program experience. Teaming up with students from all around the world to come up with solutions to some of the grand engineering challenges yielded some incredible ideas from all of us.

The program is not just for engineers, it is for everyone with an interest in renewable energy and sustainability. There were many non-engineering students that were with my group. Green Program. Regardless of whatever your major is, you will have an enriching experience.

On top of all that, Iceland is gorgeous, and according to the 2018 peace index, the safest country and travel destination in the world.

From the Capstone to the classes to hiking in the highlands and climbing a glacier, every day you will be fulfilled with this incredible life changing experience. I encourage anyone to embark on an adventure with The Green Program!

What would you improve about this program?
The Green Program, Reykjavik University, and Midgard Adventure have figured it all out. There were no issues and nothing I would change.
Default avatar
Tyler
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

A Perspective-Altering First Trip Abroad

This program was an excellent balance of sustainability-focused education, exposure to culture, natural exploration, and fun activities. Despite how short the program is, TGP and the local guides have packed it to the brim with great experiences, both personal and professional.

The academic portion of the program consists of several lectures at Reykjavik University, as well as visits to geothermal and hydroelectric sites across the country, and culminates in an entrepreneurial capstone project. The project is relatively straightforward and the guides are willing to give advice and ideas.

Beyond academics, we had the opportunity to visit local pools and hot tubs, explore a few hostels and bars, as well as hike and camp in the highlands for several days. There are activities for everyone on this program!

Food is included in the program fee, and we had the opportunity to eat at restaurants and guest-houses as well as cook our own meals. Be forewarned -- any additional snacks, drinks, or souvineers you buy are on your wallet, and everything in Iceland is fairly spendy!

What is your advice to future travelers on this program?
Keep an open mind and open eyes, everyone we met had some sort of advice to share! The entire trip can be a forum for self-development and social networking, if you let it.
Default avatar
Lukasz
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

A Fantastic Learning Experience Packaged Into the Adventure of a Lifetime

My time in Iceland will forever be a highlight in my life. I have traveled before, but never with such an amazing and unique group of people who are all so captivated by sustainability. When I arrived at the airport I was originally a little scared, but once the group got together it was difficult to break us apart at the end of the trip. Learning about energy in Iceland was inspiring and discussing how glaciers and volcanoes have shaped the landscape of the country was awesome. The valleys, rivers, waterfalls, glaciers and mountains you see throughout the journey are beyond words. The guides were super friendly and would always give you very interesting local information. I love that the program teaches sustainability through adventure and I would love to go on another one in the future!

What would you improve about this program?
I would update the packing list, especially for the camping trip, to ensure that all students are prepared.
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Georgia
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Best Educational Adventure Abroad Yet!

My Iceland experience was truly inspiring and eye opening. The combination of in-classroom and out-of-classroom education design was so effective and covered all types of learning. Not only did I get incredible perspectives from Renewable Energy Industry and Environmental experts, but I also got hands on power plant tours. I really enjoyed the incorporation of Iceland's history, it gave insight to why the renewable energy implementation there is so successful. We also got to hike along Iceland's staple landscapes including their geothermal got springs, beautiful mountains, and grand glaciers. Being in the natural environment put the climate problems and solutions into greater perspectives. We got to see the direct effects of global warming first hand during our hike on the melting glacier. We also got to experience the multiple benefits (directly and indirectly) of the geothermal hot springs. We even had the opportunity to propose our own solutions to the biggest challenges of today's world by collaborating with our student teammates. Not to mention I've now got lifelong friends and role models who share the same sustainable goals and passions as myself. You could say I had a "Power-full" adventure abroad.

What is your advice to future travelers on this program?
Stay openminded! Trust your guides because they may nudge you out of your comfort zone, but you will learn so much about yourself and have the best time doing it! You will probably discover the dire truth about the condition of our planet and the increasing rate of harm we are causing, but most importantly you will be inspired to be part of the progress towards sustainability. Stay connected with the other TGP students and remember that you were all drawn towards this experience by similar passions and interests. These will be your fellow progress-makers and GREEN game-changers!
Default avatar
Gabriel
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Explore Iceland at its GREENest

10/10 would recommend the GREEN Program! I participated in the Iceland program in May 2019. Through this program, will gain industry access to the best biofuel, hydroelectric and geothermal facilities that Iceland has to offer. As an energy engineering student, exploring these different areas of energy allowed me to become more open-minded with regards to where I want to take my professional career. Fun fact: Once you've completed the Iceland program, you are automatically qualified for a $5000 scholarship towards any Iceland School of Energy graduate program! Outside of their awesome academic program, you will explore the most jawdropping and awe-inspiring landscapes in the world! The GREEN Program is definitely an experience that you will not forget!

What was the most surprising thing you saw or did?
When we went on our glacier hike, I wasn't expecting two things, Witnessing the impact od climate change and ice climbing.
Default avatar
Emma
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

TGP in Iceland!

This program is where education meets adventure.

I was able to learn so much about renewable energy and sustainability through lectures at the university and our capstone project. This learning was enhanced by us being in a country that has reached 100% renewable energy and getting to visit the facilities for different forms of energy.

Glaciers, day-long hikes, camping trips, hot springs... this was only some of our exposure to the nature and beauty of Iceland. There were only 11 students on my trip so we all got close and had the most amazing time together, led by two wonderful locals, Erla and Bjarni. We ate local food, listened to Icelandic music, and drove around the country in a van. The experience just felt very genuine and complete.

What is your advice to future travelers on this program?
Put yourself out there and soak it all in! It's not every day you're in one of the most beautiful countries in the world, being shown around by locals, and meeting other students from around the world who share your interests.
Sanjana
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

I had the coolest time in Iceland

The GREEN Program was one of the most transformative experiences of my life. The program itself was incredible - I got to visit what I think is one of the most beautiful countries in the world, Iceland, and learn about its culture and history along with my main area of interest, renewable energy. I enjoyed every single day on the trip, but what surprised me the most is how much the program impacted my life once I got back. It was the starting push I needed to become more involved in other environmental endeavors, and was a key factor in me getting my last internship, creating a hackathon and a student organization, and working on a nonprofit organization as well. Participating in The GREEN Program was awesome and if you're thinking about it even a little bit - go for it!

What would you improve about this program?
I could go on it again!
Response from The GREEN Program

Hi Sanjana - thank you so much for leaving TGP a review! We are so glad your Iceland experience was so transformative, and that it helped you start your environmental hackathon on campus. We hope to see you on another program in the the future.

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Christopher
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Incredible Iceland Experience

Where do I start. So, I went on the Iceland trip in the summer of 2018 and it was an incredible experience. It was incredible from the application to the trip home. TGP representatives were with me the entire way to help with whatever questions I had and always responded in a timely manner. The trip itself was a once in a lifetime experience. Our guides were truly one of a kind and the people I met on the trip slowly became family. There is something special about meeting all these likeminded people and putting your minds together to change the world. If I had to do this program all over again, I would not change one thing. 11/10 experience.

What would you improve about this program?
I do not see any other ways to improve this program except making it longer to explore more!
Response from The GREEN Program

Hi Christoper - thank you for leaving TGP a review! We really appreciate your feedback as we use this to grow and refine the program. We also wish we could stay in Iceland longer! Thank you again, and we hope to see you on another program in the future.

Default avatar
Joe
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Niceland

Green was one of the coolest experiences of my life. You get to learn and experience so much in a short time and make friends that will last a lifetime. From hiking in the highlands to family style dinner the program seems to never slow down. If you want to jump outside your comfort zone this is the perfect place to do it. And do I need to mention it again? It’s in Iceland! Your family and friends will be jealous for sure!

Response from The GREEN Program

Hi Joe - thanks for leaving TGP a review! We are so glad you had a wonderful experience in Iceland, and we hope you'll join us again soon!

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Emily
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Trip of a lifetime

This trip was my first time leaving the country and I went into it being the most nervous about being on the flight for 6 hours. Once you land at KEF everyone is there waiting, getting breakfast, and getting to know each other. We had a lot of long but beautiful hikes that made me really appreciate the beauty of the country and get to know everyone. A few things didn't go as planned, but regardless the guides came up with a backup plan and it worked out wonderfully. The housing accommodations were very nice, I felt safe in every location we stayed in (which is especially important being female) and the food out guesthouse and hostel served was amazing. In the end I made so many amazing friends and got to know so many new people that I still keep in touch with a month later. If you're looking for a good group of people to travel with, memories that will last a lifetime, and a beautiful country to explore, this is it! (Just make sure you pack some extra snacks for the long hikes).

Response from The GREEN Program

Hi Emily - thanks for sharing your feedback with our team! We're so glad you had a phenomenal first experience outside the country, and we hope you'll join us again for your next international adventure!

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Amanda
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

The Green Team

Anyone who comes back from this amazing program will give you a laundry list filled with memories of amazing sites, friendships and knowledge. The staff on site and coordination within the GREEN program are fantastic. The learning environment doesn’t stop at the classroom and the passion the locals have for renewables is inspiring. Before this program I didn’t know what I wanted my career to be and had never traveled to another country alone before. Now I’ve been to 12 different countries and my career is something I can truly say I’m happy with and excited to see where it takes me. The experiences I’ve had with this group of people, staff and student alike, will be something I’ll never forget.

What would you improve about this program?
Have an option for more adventurous people to stay longer and do a backpacking trip in the highlands or another part f the country we don’t get to see on Program. Really allows the connection with nature to seep in. Also have an extended program (summer) where the student can’t continue a project with the Midgard or Reykjavik University for research ir something along those lines.
Response from The GREEN Program

Hi Amanda - thanks for sharing your feedback with the team! That is definitely something we have taken into consideration, since we are always trying to grow and refine the program. We hope you'll join us again in the future!

Read my full story
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Shannon
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Great Program

The GREEN Program in Iceland was awesome. So many action packed days filled with adventure, sustainable energy, and great people. I loved every second of it and would love to do another one! My time in Iceland included a glacier walk, local pool time, traditional food, fun game nights, and snorkeling in a glacial river. There were so many fun things on this trip, it's hard to name them all. They have programs in Hawaii, Japan, Peru, and elsewhere, all of which I'd like to go to!

What would you improve about this program?
No improvements necessary!
Response from The GREEN Program

Hi Shannon - thanks for sharing a review for the program! We're so glad you loved Iceland, and we hope you'll be traveling with us again in the future.

Location

Location:
Iceland
Currency:
Icelandic Króna
Weather:
Jan-Mar
37 F / 25 F
Apr-Jun
57 F / 30 F
Jul-Sep
59 F / 41 F
Oct-Dec
45 F / 25 F
Airports:
Keflavík Airport
( KEF )

Iceland has been an up and coming tourist destination for the past couple years and there is a good reason why. Iceland is a perfect destination for thrill seekers and explorers, as they have unrivaled scenery with the Northern Lights, geothermal baths, glaciers and black beaches.

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About The GREEN Program

The GREEN Program is an award-winning, experiential education program focused on our world’s most pressing issues in sustainable development. We provide 10-day, accredited programs in Iceland, Peru, and Japan. By using the world as our classroom, our...